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Board and Staff

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Jean Connelly Board Chair
Board Chair

Jean Cronin Connolly, both a fine art photographer and a painter, is originally from the Boston area. After studying at the University of Massachusetts and Boston University she taught art in the Boston area, went on to publish an arts magazine, “Arts Around Boston,” and then became the Executive Director of “Arts First,” a service organization which heralded art teachers and students as well as provided resources to practicing artists in the Boston area. Before moving to New London, New Hampshire, Jean was also the chair of the Needham Cultural Council which distributed funds and created community events such as “New Year’s Needham” and the Spring Arts Festival, winning the Governor’s Award for Leadership. Jean continues to explore her art while also working with other artists and arts organizations in the Lake Sunapee Region to ensure the arts are a vital part of the community.

General Organization

Susie Stockwell Business and Governance Chair
Business and Governance Chair

Susie Lowe-Stockwell is the past Executive Director of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. After receiving a Bachelor in Arts Management, she pursued many creative endeavors before taking the leading role at the NH League. She initiated and executed many projects including a capital campaign, the opening of several galleries throughout the state, and NH Open Doors.

Debbie
Treasurer and Scholarship Co-Chair

Debbie Lang is a retired Financial/Administrative Professional with significant domestic and international experience at leading companies in financial services, manufacturing, and distribution, including VP-IT/Finance and VP-Corporate Profitability at Bank of New York Mellon, VP-Finance/Administration N. Glantz & Son Inc. Brooklyn, NY, and President/Owner of Lang Food Enterprises, Inc- Westfield, NJ. She currently resides in Sutton, NH, volunteering with several non-profit organizations as well as the Center for the Arts, where she serves as treasurer, including Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust and the Sutton Planning Board and Conservation Commission.

Susan Forest
Secretary

Susan Forest (Lily), a retired lawyer, practiced general corporate law, with a focus on
public securities transactions, at Sullivan & Worcester LLP in Boston. She attended Bates
College (BA English) and Columbia Law School (JD). Susan received her certification for a 500 hour Hatha yoga teacher training in 2009. In addition to yoga, she enjoys hiking and skiing. She has been a collector of vintage clothing since 1981, when she started wearing her mother’s and grandmother’s clothing in
college, and is a self-taught fashion historian. She loves attending live music and theater.

Alison Vernon
Board Member

Teddi Durant owns Grounds Coffee Shop, a charming café that not only features a free book exchange but also serves as a microgallery for emerging artists, thanks to a partnership with the CFA. Teddi has a strong history of supporting both the arts and the local community, demonstrating a passion for nurturing artistic endeavors.

Visual Arts

Rick Stockwell  Visual Arts Committee Co-Chair

Visual Arts Committee Co-Chair

Rick Stockwell has been photographing New England landscapes for 35 years. He started as a painter using photographs as his subject matter, then turned to digital photography. Rick, a retired middle school guidance counselor, is a graduate from Antioch University New England with a masters in psychology. He has worked in many galleries and is a juried member of the League of NH craftsman. He lives in South Sutton, NH with his wife, Susie Lowe-Stockwell where he pursues his other passion, a bonsai collection of over 250 trees.

open chair board member

Visual Arts Committee Co-Chair

Jay Fitzpatrick is a photographer who is a captivating blend of vision, science, and collaboration with nature.

Jay's philosophy of "making pictures" rather than simply "taking pictures" is evident in his unique approach to capturing the world around him. His landscapes transcend mere subjects, offering viewers a glimpse into realms beyond the senses, while his vibrant colors and impeccable compositions elevate each image to a work of art.

Scott Horsley

Visual Arts Committee Board Member

Scott Horsley received an MFA in drawing and painting from UCSD and an MFA in painting from RISD. Scott teaches primarily drawing, painting and the Capstone course for graduating seniors in studio art and graphic design. Before coming to CSC, he taught at the University of Florida and Weber State University in Utah. Scott makes drawing and paintings that examine how technologies and communication mediums throughout history have exerted control, overtly or subtly, over human choices.

Gary-Summerton

Visual Arts Committee Board Member

Gary Summerton is an award-winning Equestrian and Family Portrait Artist, having won several awards for his work through Professional Photographers Association of America. Gary is a graduate of New Hampshire Institute of Art's Fine Art Photography Certificate Program. Born and raised in the Boston area. Gary now lives in Sunapee Harbor, NH with his wife Cheryl and their two children Cameron and Morgan. Cameron is a nationally ranked Nordic ski jumper. Morgan competes in Athletic Equestrian League and loves to take care of horses. Gary has recently started riding.

Teddi Durant

Visual Arts Committee Board Member

Alison Vernon started painting in the late 1980's. Over the years, her painting style and technique have evolved. She quickly learned to appreciate the texture and richness of painting with palette knives. Alison’s use of knives in combination with her vibrant colors and fresh subject matter has made Alison a favorite of private as well as corporate collectors.

Performing Arts

Wally Borgden Performing Arts Chair

Performing Arts Chair

Dr. Wally Borgen is a Professor Emerita from Concordia College-NY and presently an Adjunct Professor in Public Speaking at Colby-Sawyer College. She has been singing, dancing, and performing in musical theater since the age of 8, both in professional and community theaters. In 2007, Wally organized a group of friends to perform a Vaudeville Show as a FUNdraiser for The Fells. The troupe continues to offer themselves to not-for-profit organizations, raising over $35,000 so far. During the past three years, she has written and directed two musicals, “The Best of Burt (Bacharach that is)” and “The Songs and Tales of WW1” for the Sunapee Kearsarge Intercommunity Theater (SKIT).

Thomas Tuthill Performing Arts Committee

Performing Arts Committee

Thomas Tuthill, a trained and professional teacher, taught classical languages and English at a number of Prep Schools in St. Louis, MI, Westchester, NY and New Hampshire. He is a professional organist/pianist, harpsichordist, singer and actor. In recent years, he has performed in many Sunapee Kearsarge Intercommunity Theater (SKIT) productions and "It's Vaudeville" to raise funds for not-for-profit organizations in the region.

Angela Tarleton

Performing and Youth Arts Committees

Angela Tarleton is co-founder and artistic director of Kearsarge Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Warner, NH. Mrs. Tarleton has over 37 years of experience. On a College and Conservatory level she has worked in every medium of the performing arts. She understands the performance process from beginning to end. Being equally Actress, Dancer, Singer, Choreographer, Director, Playwright and Musician (also an accomplished flutist), she fits into any mold needed. She has taught acting to dancers and dance to actors she works well with Directors, Musical Directors, and even the Technical Crew. She has designed lighting for her Dance Concerts and costumes as well. She is a “Renaissance Woman” in her own right. When teaching, directing, or choreographing she maintains a strong focus of activity, creating a sense of unity and purpose that “gets the job done!” She has a dedication to excellence in training and performance and she continues to do the same here in New Hampshire at the Kearsarge Conservatory of the Performing Arts and the Center for the Arts.

Kevin Tarleton

Performing and Youth Arts Committees

Kevin Tarleton is currently President and co-founder of Kearsarge Conservatory of the Performing Arts (KCPA) in Warner, NH. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing. He has performed in and produced hundreds of shows since 1973, the year he began his “thespian” career, at Plymouth State College. He and his wife, Angela, opened their first studio in 1982 at Fort Worth, Texas, named “Miss Angela’s School of Dance;” they then incorporated it into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 1990.  Kevin is very active in many arts organizations in the area with the Center for the Arts being a major player. KCPA produces numerous shows at multiple venues throughout the region with a special emphasis on two major events: The Spring Show/Ballet and original Christmas shows in December.

Literary Arts

open chair board member

Literary Arts Committee Chair

The Center for the Arts is currently recruiting for this role, please reach out to info@cfanh.org if you are interested. For more information on board roles and requirements, click here

open chair board member

Literary Arts Committee

The Center for the Arts is currently recruiting for this role, please reach out to info@cfanh.org if you are interested. For more information on board roles and requirements, click here

Youth Arts and Education

Jeannie

Board Member & School Liaison

Jean Kjellman has spent her career in the non-profit world, working in Development at Dartmouth College, the Maine Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and at a Private School in Portland, ME. She also held administrative assistant roles at Cape Elizabeth High School and at Babson College School of Executive Education. And after retiring, she volunteered at Nativity Preparatory School in Boston.  With an interest in the Arts and in Education, she looks forward to working with the CFA on youth projects in her new home, the Lake Sunapee Region.

Volunteer Contest Judge Megan Baxter

Volunteer Contest Judge

Megan Baxter holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Vermont College of the Fine Arts and a BFA in Poetry from Goddard College. After teaching writing at Interlochen Arts Academy and teaching under-served and at-risk educational communities at Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in South Carolina, she returned to New Hampshire where she currently teaches writing at Colby-Sawyer College.  Having won numerous national awards including a Pushcart Prize, her recent publications include pieces in The Threepenny Review, Hotel Amerika, The Florida Review, and Creative Nonfiction Magazine, her first book The Coolest Monsters and her most recent book Farm Girl. Megan serves as a mentor to young writers and loves developing cross-genre and innovative creative writing pedagogy in her workshops.

Scholarships

Sue Elliot Scholarship Co-Chair
Scholarship Co-Chair

Dr. Susan Elliott is a Professor Emeritus from Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT, and is currently residing in New London, NH. Her background reflects a wide array of projects in Language Arts, Literacy, Gifted and Talented Education, as well as the education of the Learning Disabled. She is the Scholarship Chair of The Center for the Arts: Lake Sunapee Region, a volunteer at the Fells Historic site in Newbury, NH, member of the Children Literacy Foundation, and a former board member of The TLC Family Resource Center in Claremont. Her interests are the development of community arts, youth, and scholarship.

Sandy Wells
Honorary Board Member

Sandra B. Wells, a native of Haddonfield, NJ, was a retail buyer and antique dealer before becoming treasurer and financial manager of Wells Appel Land Strategies in NJ and Philadelphia PA. North Sutton, New Hampshire is now her home where she became an early volunteer at The Fells Estate in Newbury spending time in the gardens, creating and managing many of the fund raising events, and serving as the chairman of the board. She has also served as treasurer of her church and president of the New London Garden Club, and continues to contribute to many community events.

Curating Committee

Barbara Hunting Visual Arts Co-Chair

Visual Arts Co-Chair

Barbara Hunting is a resident of New London, New Hampshire and is a Graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. and Education Certificate. She was a member and president of the Women’s Committee of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, along with other organizations in Michigan. Currently Barbara is a member of and volunteer for The John Hay Estate (The Fells), Junior League, and many other non-profits in her community.

open chair board member

Theater Arts Community Liaison

Janet Miller Haines who is currently living in New London, NH, and is originally from NJ, received degrees in Biological Science and Journalism from Radford University in Virginia. After teaching, she began her career at Bell System, starting as a technical writer and moving to AT&T on the Divesture planning team in 1982, and retiring from AT&T as a National Account Manager in 1991. Since moving full-time to NH in 2005, Janet has been active in a number of organizations including Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust, Project Sunapee, The Fells and recently retired as Chair of Northern Stage Theater.

Honorary Board Member

Bethany Balford

Bethany Balford is a former court clinic social worker from Groveland, MA, currently resides in New London, and is an active member of the First Congregational Church Wilmot. She serves on the board of Kearsarge Neighborhood Partners as well as the CFA. Her love of the arts and her dedication to community support through action has been a driving force in her life. She is excited to contribute to the CFA’s mission, improving the quality of life in the region.

Staff

Dena Stahlheber executive director
Executive Director

Dena Stahlheber is a highly experienced professional with a Master's degree in business administration and a track record of over 20 years working in both business and nonprofit sectors. She possesses a systems thinking mindset, enabling her to grasp the broader scope of organizations and their integration within the larger community.


Her lifelong passion for the arts is evident in her extensive involvement. At the age of three she began her love for dance that lasted over 13 years. Later in life, her global travels have allowed her to appreciate and study art history in diverse locations, including France, Spain, Italy, China, and Korea. Dena has showcased her creativity through various artistic pursuits such as illustrating a children's book she authored and writing another book. In her leisure time, she indulges in playing the piano and guitar.


Dena's expertise extends beyond business, as she is a seasoned professional in communications, artistry, and facilitation. Her passion for the arts and writing is unwavering, and she actively collaborates with other community members to create positive change and enhance her local area.

Elizabeth Courant
Events Manager

Elizabeth Courant, our Events Manager, comes to us with a BFA (3D/Metal Design) from Ohio Wesleyan University, as well she has a MBA from Simmons College. A strategic leader with the unique ability to balance both business skills & creative development, excellence to innovate, develop and market, she has a lengthy career designing home, gift, tabletop and garden decor for over 35 years.  She is the Director of Product Development & Design for The Galway Company, a licensed focused wholesaler, selling to large retailers.  She is a full time resident of Newbury for the past 7 years and a summer resident for 25+ years, even coming to the lake as a child, with much family near by. 

Jenn Stark
Graphic Designer

Jennifer Stark resides in Newport, NH, where she is currently the Marketing Coordinator at Sugar River Bank and is a Simmons University graduate with a B.A. in graphic design. She has been the Art Director at Kearsarge Magazine and Kid Stuff Magazine, both regionally recognized magazines. A regular instructor at the Library Arts Center (LAC) in Newport she has also exhibited at LAC and AVA Gallery & Art Center in group shows. Her passion is art and the process of creativity and how it is a building block to self-discovery and healthy communities.

Adam Peithmann Website Redesign Intern graphic design music program

Website Redesign Intern

Adam Peithmann is pursuing a degree in graphic design through Southern New Hampshire University. Currently, Adam is the Director of Music at the First Congregational Church in Manchester, NH, where he oversees a dynamic music program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he developed a love for video media which fueled his interests in graphic design and all things Adobe.  Adam is thrilled to be a part of the team redesigning the CFA website.   

Kayla Joseph

Intern

Kayla Joseph lives in Pennsylvania with her puppy, Luna. She decided to go back to college to get another degree in something she loves and is passionate about: Game Art & Design. She loves art and painting, and writing has always been her outlet for self-expression.

Nicole Wassell Intern

Website Design and Content Intern

Nicole Wassell is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Cybersecurity and minoring in Project Management at SNHU. Alongside her studies, she is a dedicated mom to her three young children. Nicole and her husband are actively involved in coaching their children's soccer teams and enjoy planning family adventures. They have a strong passion for travel and outdoor activities. Annually, they travel around the world to study and immerse themselves in different cultures. In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading, painting, and engaging in the arts, which also drives her passion for her work at CFA.

Sarah Tyler

Intern

Sarah Tyler is a graphic design major with a concentration in UX at SNHU. She lives in Arizona but hails from New York. Her hobbies include drawing, video games, and watching movies.

Nat Weaver editor intern

Editor Intern

Nat Weaver is a student at SNHU studying English Language and Literature while being a stay-at-home dad to a teenager. He spent almost a decade at Missouri S&T in the online program and has years of experience in video production and indie filmmaking. He enjoys writing his book series, friends, music, watching horror movies with his wife, and playing video games with his family.

Roneque Redhi

Intern

Roneque Redhi has been working in IT for over four years and is currently enrolled at SNHU to pursue a degree in Computer Science aiming towards Project management. She has always been tech savvy, but now wants to switch out and work more on the communication side of technology. She enjoys family time and the theater (musicals). Fun fact: she loves Korean food.

Madison D'Urso

Copywriter Intern

Madison D’Urso is a student at SNHU and is pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and English. She also has been a peer educator at SNHU helping her fellow students develop their writing and organization skills. She finds great joy in helping others and herself create more meaningful and beautiful pieces of writing.

Sarah Zink

Graphic Design Intern

Sarah Zink is a student at Colby-Sawyer College majoring in graphic design with a double-minor in contemporary marketing and studio art. Pursuing her love for art and design, she strives to show diversity in her work, expanding from photography to other mediums incorporating hand and digital drawings, paintings, ink-on-paper, and web/social media design. After her expected graduation in 2025 with a BFA, she plans to move forward in the graphic design field with her heart set on exploring wider ranges of subjects and moving towards higher levels of exploration to contribute to the world and design community. 

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